Michael Lowry TD has expressed his apprehension at the botched attempts by the Minister for Health and the HSE to introduce the Free under 6’s GP Scheme

“I’m aware that at a recent meeting of South Tipperary General Practitioners 27 out of 32 GPs in attendance confirmed that they will not be taking part in the Free under 6’s GP Scheme.”
“This decision not to support the scheme is a direct result of the one sided dictatorial approach the Minister for Health and the HSE has adopted in its negotiations with GPs. It has resulted in a severe lack of meaningful discussion and consultation between all those involved. Those who attended the meeting also expressed concern with the current contract structure on offer. The contracts are viewed as demeaning, unworkable and only intended as a temporary interim measure. In general the GPs are viewing the whole scheme as a failed box-ticking exercise by the Minister for Health.”
Deputy Lowry added that, “Tipperary GPs have also raised concerns regarding the workload implications and lack of infrastructural support for the Under 6’s Free Scheme. It is clear to me that the Minister for Health and the HSE are implementing this scheme as a political policy sweetener. Many people feel that the costs involved in rolling out the new scheme will work to the disadvantage of those who are seriously ill within our medical system and who also deserve equal unrestricted access to the health system.”

“The actions of the Minister for Health and the HSE are completely at odds with the concept of equality of care to all patients. I am calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE, to review the current system as a matter of urgency and to enter in constructive dialogue with GPs and other key stakeholders to address their concerns and save the scheme from failure.”